Issue 128

Is Your Dog a Good Judge of Character?

Has your dog ever reacted in a way to someone - either positively or negatively - making you think differently about that person?

If so, you aren't alone.

According to new research from Direct Line, three in 10 men would be more likely to trust their pet’s instincts and break off a relationship, whereas four in 10 women are more likely to act on their pet’s instincts when it comes to 'untrustworthy' friends.

But the answer to why we trust our pets with our hearts may not be as simple as trusting them above almost all others, it could be chemical.

Could This Hormone Be the Reason We Trust Our Pets?

Oxytocin is also known as the cuddle or love hormone and it’s often referred to in scientific studies analysing the evolution of our relationships with pets.

When we connect and bond with our pet, from hugging to stroking them, oxytocin is released.

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Studies say that when we look into our pet's eyes the same hormonal response that bonds us to babies is activated, creating an oxytocin-mediated positive loop that bonds us to our pets in the same way we would bond with a child, which leads us to wonder if this could be the reason we put so much trust in our pet's instincts.

Ryan O’Meara, former professional dog trainer and publisher of K9 Magazine weighed in with his thoughts, “I met my wife through my first dog, Jackson. He had shown signs of not trusting people in the past and let it be known at that time by barking or even going to the toilet indoors, luckily for me - and her - his instincts were favourable.”

It’s Not Me, It’s You: 4 Biggest Relationship Deal-breakers

Our animals’ instincts aren’t the only factors in relationship splits. Here are the four biggest deal-breakers, according to pet owners.

Eva Sandstra-Bennett, Head of Pet Insurance at Direct Line concluded, “The relationships we have with our pets is unconditional and they very quickly become part of the family. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that owners are so trusting of their animal instincts. We care for our pets like we would our children, which is why it’s so important that we surround them with people that are kind to them and provide our pets with care that they deserve.”

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